University of South Alabama

Information about Physical Therapist prorgram at University of South Alabama


University of SouthAlabama (D6, F1, PU)

Last Updated by Program: 03/28/2007


Address:   Department of Physical Therapy

University of SouthAlabama

1504 Springhill Avenue

Room 1214

Mobile, AL36604

Phone:   (251)434-3575  Fax:   (251)434-3822

Admissions/Student Inquiry Phone:   (251)460-7962 


Web Address:  

Program E-mail:



Dennis W Fell, PT, MD




 Accreditor:   Southern Association of Colleges and Schools/Commission on Colleges

 Carnegie Classification:   Master's Colleges and Universities (larger programs)



 Date of Initial Accreditation:   Bachelor’s degree, December 1977 (no longer offered) Master’s degree, May 1998 (no longer offered) Doctor of Physical Therapy, June 2003

 Current Accreditation Status:   Accreditation

 Next Visit   2010

 Five Year History:   Accreditation



Doctor of Physical Therapy



The Doctor of Physical Therapy degree is conferred following eight semesters (32 months) of professional graduate studies. It is highly recommended, and in most cases required, that applicants complete a bachelor’s degree prior to starting the PT program. A special “Advanced Undergraduate” entry option allows students with at least 96 semester hours of specific college prerequisites and an overall GPA of at least 3.50 to apply prior to completion of the bachelor’s degree. Regular graduate applicants who have a bachelor’s degree must have a GPA of at least 3.0. Following the January 15th application deadline students who are accepted begin the professional component in the fall semester. The DPT program consists of a total of 8 semesters including a combination of ~6 semesters of didactic courses and 33 weeks of full-time clinical PT internship. Students spend approximately 20 hours per week in class and 12 hours in course labs.



Students complete one 8-week full-time internship at the end of the first year and two 12-13 week full-time internships during the third year. Students are required to complete one rotation in an inpatient acute care hospital, one rotation in a rehabilitation facility, and one rotation in a specialized setting in the area of their choice such as sports/orthopedic, pediatrics, or others. Contracts with over 200 clinical sites allow student clinical education opportunities to be offered throughout the continental United States, with a concentration in the southeast. New sites can be established at facilities in geographic and clinical areas of student interest after admission to the program.



There are eight full-time and four part-time faculty members and a variety of guest speakers/clinicians/specialists with expertise covering all major areas of clinical PT practice. Of the full-time faculty 86% hold post-professional doctoral degrees and six are engaged in clinical practice. In addition to their physical therapy licensure, three faculty members are ABPTS certified (Geriatric Clinical Specialist and Sports Clinical Specialists), one is a Certified Wound Specialist (CWS) with the American Academy of Wound Management, two are licensed Athletic Trainers and two are Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialists. Over the past 3 years, the faculty has averaged 2.7 publications per year in peer-reviewed journals. The faculty to student ratio is 1:10.



The University enrolls over 13,000 students of diverse culture, gender, and age. Thirty-six students are accepted into the professional component of the physical therapy program each year. Students are admitted without in-state preference from across the United States.



Acceptance to the physical therapy program is based upon the student’s academic ability and aptitude for a career as a physical therapist. Applicants must hold a baccalaureate degree from an accredited college or university with specific prerequisites and overall grade point average (GPA) of at least 3.0 or may enter by a special entry track (The Advanced Undergraduate category of admission) if they hold 96 semester hours of specific prerequisite courses and overall GPA greater than or equal to 3.50. Additional requirements include: the GRE which must have been taken within 5 years of application to the program; a minimum of C in each of the prerequisite courses; a minimum of 50 hours of observation or work experience in physical therapy under the supervision of and documented by a licensed physical therapist; and a personal admissions interview. 40% of qualified applicants are admitted to the program (3-year average).



89% of admitted students graduate from the program (3-year average). 82% of graduating students pass the licensure exam on the first attempt (3-year average). Among survey respondents, 100% of program graduates are employed in physical therapy within 6 months of graduation (3-year average).



Tuition for the 118 semester credit hours is $167.00 per semester hour for Alabama residents and $334.00 per semester hour for nonresidents. A more detailed estimate of total expenses including housing is described on the website. The University has a very lenient policy allowing students to reclassify for in-state tuition. Forty-five percent of the students receive some type of financial aid. There are four annual scholarships reserved for students in the DPT program as well as others for students in the College of Allied Health Professions.



 A wide range of housing opportunities is available including traditional residence halls, apartment-style buildings, suite-style buildings, efficiency apartments, and private rooms. Off-campus rentals in a wide range of prices are located near campus. Our students are involved in a variety of intramural athletics including football, softball, basketball, soccer, water polo, and volleyball. The University of South Alabama is a 30-acre campus located in historic Mobile, near the sunny Gulf Coast beaches. The physical therapy program is not on the main campus but is housed on the Springhill Avenue Campus (1504 Springhill Ave), which is located approximately 7 miles east of the main campus.